Allan is Associate Director for Educational Quality Standards at the National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network (NIHR-CRN) at the University of Leeds, and also combines this role with freelance teaching and writing.
After graduating in Medicine from the University of Glasgow in 1984, Allan trained in Clinical Biochemistry before specializing in Clinical Lipidology when he held the West of Scotland Coronary Prevention Study Lectureship for three years. On completion of his Ph.D., which focused on the metabolic mechanisms of cholesterol lowering drugs, Allan spent two years’ post-doctoral study funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) in the laboratories of the Nobel Laureates, Joseph Goldstein and Michael Brown in Dallas, Texas. During that time, he worked on the molecular genetics of familial cholesterol disorders. He returned to the UK to take up a position funded by a BHF Intermediate Fellowship in the Department of Pathological Biochemistry at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary.
In 1997, Allan was appointed Deputy Study Director of PROSPER, and in 2000, he took over the leadership of the Clinical Trials Unit at Glasgow Royal Infirmary. In 2006, he was appointed Director of Operations of the Glasgow Clinical Research Facility, and in 2011, was appointed to the Chair of Clinical Research in Queen's University Belfast and as the Director of the Wellcome Trust/Wolfson Northern Ireland Clinical Research Facility.
In 2012, Allan became the Associate Director for Educational Quality Standards at the National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network (NIHR-CRN) at the University of Leeds and embarked on a freelance teaching and writing career. His current interests are the design and conduct of clinical trials, medical and research ethics, and medical education. He is the author of over 145 original papers, reviews, and book chapters on cholesterol and coronary heart disease and clinical trials, and has authored or edited over 25 books on subjects such as clinical biochemistry, coronary heart disease prevention, the pharmacology of statins, writing skills, and medical history.